My Ericksonian hypnotherapy buddies are fond of a magic trick called reframing.

It comes, like roses and chocolate, in several varieties.

We started, as I recall, by learning the pattern for a 12-step reframe, which, as you can probably imagine, required a couple of cheat sheets.

Then, we went on to the 6-step reframe, causing lots of us to wonder why we didn’t start there in the first place. Clearly, we weren’t ready until we were!

Then, the plot thickened even more. You guessed it… a 1-step reframe!

All those memories bring to mind the Harry Potter books in which wizarding school started with a trip to buy a wand.

These days, my wand is mostly a paint brush. Or a Sharpie marker. And I am totally still learning!

Today, though, many of the things I’ve learned through the years came together in an instant, including the meaning of abracadabra, which is something very close to I will create as I speak, leaving me simultaneously laughing and crying so hard that choking was not out of the question.

I was sitting in a Zoom meeting with a bunch of very cool creative women spending a chunk of our Saturday pondering the business of being artists. Our fearless leader was the comically wise Sam Bennett with her ever-so-capable side kick, Veronica.

In theory, we were wrapping up a journey we began sometime last fall. Wrapping up in the sense that finishing something so often means beginning new things.

Sam was sharing a list of 15 things she’s come to depend on in her journey. I was scribbling really fast with my magic hot pink Sharpie so what you’re about to read is what I heard, though not necessarily exactly what Sam said.

Experimenting with failure and not knowing IS the life of the scientist, explorer, artist and queen!

Que the 1-step reframe!

You see, one of the other things on my list today, after the private painting/dog petting session was finished, while the laundry machines were doing what laundry machines do, and the oven was making left-over frittata new again, was the eminent demise of a batch of GoDaddy domain names!

And no one home to help!

Dealing with such an event, as you’ve probably realized, has not historically been in my comfort zone. But, tonight I had a couple of sketch book pages covered in scribbles from the Zoom meeting and the one all highlighted in yellow was… yep…

Experimenting with failure and not knowing IS the life of the scientist, explorer, artist and queen!

I’m hoping Sam will understand if I add grandmother to the list. (Not so sure about the queen part. Must be learning for another day…)

So, re-framed, I just did it.

Loving names as I do, it was quite the project, and I did avail myself of the option to phone a friend for moral support! It feels like a bit of a miracle that, in this moment, I am left with a collection of things I intentionally chose a-new instead of a whole bunch of maybes from the past that were costing me money.

Yes, it was a little scary. And there is one question remaining for another day when I’ve collected a bit more information.

But, just in case you missed it… I did it!

There are no Oscars or Westminster trophies or Nobel prizes for such an accomplishment but, you know, I don’t need any.

That, by the way, is how you recognize that the 1-step reframe flew, instead of falling flat on the floor as sometimes happens.

And, just between us, magic events like this don’t really happen in one step. They happen, like the evolving lights in my studio, with a whole lot of noticing what doesn’t work and a big dose of imagining it might be different, followed by as much research as it takes, a handy friend, a couple of do-overs, and eventually light!

Some of you–maybe lots of you– are muttering about now, thinking the light is for others but not for you.

Take a deep breath and please hear me, in all truth, assuring you that even if you’re not a queen or a grandmother or a scientist, you are, in fact, an explorer. I know that because you’re still reading! And there is an artist lurking inside you, even if you haven’t made friends with her yet.

Take another deep breath and let it a…l…l… out gently. We’ll come back to this another day.

For now, though, a bit of attention for the laundry machines and time for me to paint.

Oh, and a gift for you, the explorer if you’re feeling even a tiny bit brave. It just might be the magic reframe you’re longing for. But you’ll have to click here to find out!

ps… That gift is, in an odd way, related to the photo of the flag that flies on our front porch every day. It seemed extra-important on this particular 3-day weekend!


Hot Date Week!

I did something this week that I haven’t done for a while. I went on an Artist Date. A favorite practice from Julia Cameron’s The Artists’ Way, the rules are simple.

Take yourself off to a place that inspires you. Parks. Art museums. The quilt store on a day when you don’t have 12 more things that have to be finished by Christmas. Or, in my case, Kudzu. A local hangout for movie set designers and house flippers and folks like me who prefer an unexpected vibe in their spaces.

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Made for This

It’s been a challenging week in my corner of the world. A lot of the challenges fit into the category of annoying or inconvenient. Things to breathe through and, hopefully, chuckle about later.

Some of them were much bigger! The kind of reality shocks that require a tremendous amount of pondering and contemplating. The kind that cause me, at least, to stop and really consider what I believe. And for me, that takes a bit of shoring up.

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Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity®
Color of Woman Teacher & Coach